BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) is a non-profit, multistakeholder governance group that promotes better standards in cotton farming and practices across 21 countries. As of 2017, Better Cotton accounts for 14% of global cotton production. In the 2016-2017 cotton season, 1.3 million licensed BCI Farmers produced 3.3 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint, enabling a record-level of more sustainably produced cotton to enter the global supply chain.[1] Partner retailers include H&M, Gap, IKEA, and Levi Strauss, and include funding partners from USAID.[2] At the end of 2017, BCI had 1,197 members – 85 retailer and brand members, 1,039 supplier and manufacturer members, 32 producer organisation members, 31 civil society members and 12 associate members.[3] BCI contributes towards the UN's goals to achieve better global water sustainability and sustainable agriculture.[4]

BCI farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, minimise the impact of harmful crop protection practices, preserve fibre quality and apply decent work principles.[5] BCI also promotes use of better irrigation practices with farmers, as well as reducing the use of fertilizers. Some examples point to a 40% reduction in water use by farmers in Pakistan and farmers in India cutting water use by half.[6] BCI is currently the only notable sustainability standard in the cotton sector that allows farmers to grow genetically modified cotton.


Both BCI and Oeko-tex allow GMO Cotton and has no restriction on use of GMO. This means that if you want orcanic cotton you must go for GOTS. If we we do a hierarky of cotton and certifications on cotton, GOTS would be ranked as the certification to look for. 


Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton | BCI is considered a low-chemical option, bringing together farmers, aggregators, retailers, spinners, mills, cutting & sewing, manufacturers, retailers, brands and grassroots organizations in a unique global community committed to developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream product. . They certify cotton according to The Better Cotton Standard System, a holistic approach to sustainable cotton production that covers all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. It is an easier starting point than organic. BCI allows GMOS. In 2014, 7.6% of all cotton produced globally was Better Cotton (source: BCI).